'Nevermind' At 20: Producer Butch Vig On Nirvana | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

'Nevermind' At 20: Producer Butch Vig On Nirvana

Play associated audio

Twenty years ago, it was hard to imagine a grunge album unseating Michael Jackson for the No. 1 position at the top of the Billboard charts, but that's what happened when Nirvana's Nevermind came out in September 1991. Since then, it has sold more than 30 million copies — which is certainly not what the album's co-producer, Butch Vig, was expecting.

But Vig says he remembers that when he first met Nirvana, they were a band eager to work.

"They were psyched," Vig says. "As I started talking to them, they told me they were ready. They had been rehearsing every day for three months. There was definitely not a slacker ethic in that band. I mean, they wanted to make a great record. And Kurt [Cobain] was very ambitious, you know. When they walked into the studio, they were ready to go."

In the Morning Edition interview above with NPR's David Greene, Vig remembers his reaction to hearing the original boombox demos (now available on a reissued Nevermind box set), as well as Cobain's struggle with success. Vig also describes the immediate and lasting effect of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

"To me, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' reminds me a little bit of how Bob Dylan's songs affected people in the '60s," Vig says.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Korean Steak Sandwich

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a sandwich with a cult following. It's the Korean steak from Rhea's Market and Deli in San Francisco.
NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Korean Steak Sandwich

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a sandwich with a cult following. It's the Korean steak from Rhea's Market and Deli in San Francisco.
WAMU 88.5

Witness List Released In McDonnell Corruption Trial

Among those on the witness list are Maureen McDonnell and the couple's three children, Sean, Rachel and Bobby.
NPR

It's Boom Times For Pop-Up Shops As Mobile Shopping Clicks

One-click online shopping is changing how we shop. Stores with leases as short as a day are proliferating — meaning a storefront can be a designer clothing store one day and a test kitchen the next.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.